Thursday, March 27, 2003
Far be it from me to call you an ass: My good friend here at work is a Commander in the Navy Reserve, and was in Bahrain last summer (he's crossing his fingers still about being called up). Anyway, he pronounces Qatar as "CUT-ter" - and scoffs at me when I say "kuh-TAR". I remind him that military personnel are not to be looked to for guidance on the pronunciation of anything, since half of their vocabulary consists of acronyms. The French pronounce VanGogh as "van-GUGGH" which, when you think of it, is about how it looks. My favorite mispronunciation, actually it was a malapropism, that crept into everyone's speech was "Afghani." An afghani is a form of money. An afghan is a person from Afghanistan. Use like this: "I feel sorry for the Afghan people."